Read and write access to GP records has become a reality for pharmacists in Fleetwood.

Doctors at the Mount View Practice were the first to use secure system EMIS Web to enable video consultations with patients.

The technology allows patients to view their medical records on screen during the virtual consultation, but that was not the only radical overhaul of traditional paperwork.

Dr Mark Spencer, co-chair of the NHS Alliance and GP at Mount View, said: “One of the things we’re doing in Fleetwood, and I think we’re at the front end of doing this, is opening up the GP medical record to pharmacists.

“We all use EMIS Web between the practices and we’re taking our high street pharmacists through the information governance that is required.

“Then they can switch on EMIS web and directly view the GP record and directly write into the GP record so hopefully all the form-filling that those pharmacists and GPs have to do will be minimised.”

Dr Spencer has also said he is keen for the new NHS Alliance to avoid being GP-led.

“Our three leaders at the head of the alliance are from completely different backgrounds - we have a GP, a nurse, and a housing specialist and that’s pretty much as diverse as you can get.

“But looking at the wider national executive we have fire and rescue, pharmacy, health visitors, a consultant and we have a patient representative in there - so the national executive is as wide as it can be.

“One of my key priorities is to make the alliance a really broad church so that we can really focus on my key priority which is health and communities.

“GPs have a part to play but we’re not the beginning of the health community, and we’re certainly not the end.”